Citizen science is booming during the Covid-19 pandemic – Vox

“The pandemic has driven a huge increase in participation in citizen science, where people without specialized training collect data out in the world or perform simple analyses of data online to help out scientists.

Stuck at home with time on their hands, millions of amateurs around the world are gathering information on everything from birds to plants to Covid-19 at the request of institutional researchers. And while quarantine is mostly a nightmare for us, it’s been a great accelerant for science….”

University approaches to Citizen Science in the transition to Open Science – Institutional opportunities and challenges for creating an open and inclusive environment for Research – OpenAIRE Blog

“EUA and OpenAIRE organized the two-day, online workshop “University approaches to Citizen Science in the transition to Open Science” on December 9th and 10th. It provided a place to discuss Citizen Science in an era of Open Science (OS) and showcased a range of Citizen Science (SC) projects combining the two movements. A particular focus was on support and opportunities for CS in universities and institutions, with ample attention to the analysis of current practice and the challenges for institutions and projects….”

Transparency and secrecy in citizen science: Lessons from herping – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  In this paper I will outline a worry that citizen science can promote a kind of transparency that is harmful. I argue for the value of secrecy in citizen science. My argument will consist of analysis of a particular community (herpers), a particular citizen science platform (iNaturalist, drawing contrasts with other platforms), and my own travels in citizen science. I aim to avoid a simple distinction between science versus non-science, and instead analyze herping as a rich practice [MacIntyre, 2007]. Herping exemplifies citizen science as functioning simultaneously within and outside the sphere of science. I show that herpers have developed communal systems of transmitting and protecting knowledge. Ethical concerns about secrecy are inherently linked to these systems of knowledge. My over-arching aim is to urge caution in the drive to transparency, as the concepts of transparency and secrecy merit close scrutiny. The concerns I raise are complementary to those suggested by previous philosophical work, and (I argue) resist straightforward solutions.


The rise of citizen science: can the public help solve our biggest problems? | Universities | The Guardian

“For instance, in Kenya, University College London (UCL) scientists and their local partners are working with the Maasai to protect their environment against the climate crisis.

The researchers are co-developing a smartphone app that will help the community map the location of vital medicinal plant species and, as a result, better manage them. The app will allow the Maasai to upload the location of the plants, analyse the results and display them using icons like a thumbs up, an ant, and a red no entry sign next to invasive species, as well as pictures of the plants they want to protect….

Despite its obvious merits, citizen science still faces challenges. Researchers have a reputation for arriving in a community, exploiting it for data, and leaving it without giving any credit for its contribution….

In the end, citizen science is about shifting power from scientists to the public. A new £1.3m project called Engaging Environments led by the University of Reading, which is running in its own city as well as Birmingham and Newcastle, aims to do just that by training researchers to work with a wide range of communities to address their concerns about issues like pollution, climate change and air quality. This might be through getting sixth formers to monitor wildlife, or mosques encouraging their congregation to develop environmentally friendly practices such as avoiding single-use plastics during festivals.

This project is needed because of the social divide that exists between the public and many scientists. …

It doesn’t benefit scientists to isolate themselves from the public, either….”

citizenscience, Twitter, 11/5/2020 4:27:37 AM, 239488

“The graph represents a network of 3,914 Twitter users whose tweets in the requested range contained “citizenscience”, or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets. The network was obtained from the NodeXL Graph Server on Thursday, 05 November 2020 at 04:07 UTC.

The requested start date was Thursday, 05 November 2020 at 01:01 UTC and the maximum number of days (going backward) was 14.

The maximum number of tweets collected was 7,500.

The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 13-day, 18-hour, 29-minute period from Thursday, 22 October 2020 at 01:42 UTC to Wednesday, 04 November 2020 at 20:11 UTC.

Additional tweets that were mentioned in this data set were also collected from prior time periods. These tweets may expand the complete time period of the data.

There is an edge for each “replies-to” relationship in a tweet, an edge for each “mentions” relationship in a tweet, and a self-loop edge for each tweet that is not a “replies-to” or “mentions”.

The graph is directed.

The graph’s vertices were grouped by cluster using the Clauset-Newman-Moore cluster algorithm.

The graph was laid out using the Harel-Koren Fast Multiscale layout algorithm….”

OCLC-LIBER Open Science Discussion on Citizen Science – Hanging Together

“How is Citizen Science—the active contribution of the general public in scientific research activities—developing, and what should research library involvement look like? This final session of the OCLC/LIBER Open Science Discussion series brought together research librarians with a range of viewpoints and practical experiences of this exciting area. Together the group formed a vision of Citizen Science in an ideal future state, and identified challenges that stand in the way of achieving that.

Much progress has been made since 2018, when libraries first identified a potential role in Citizen Science. Since then, several research libraries in Europe have incorporated Citizen Science into their activities—despite the adverse impact of COVID-19—and are working with researchers. We can also see knowledge brokering taking place in this area, one valuable example being LIBER’s Citizen Science Working Group, two members of whom were present at this session. So we’re seeing some momentum for libraries within Citizen Science, though not evenly spread, across Europe….”

Charting a path to a more open future. . . together – Hanging Together

“Last week, representatives from OCLC Research and LIBER (the Association of European Research Libraries) presented a webinar to kick off the OCLC-LIBER Open Science Discussion Series. This discussion series, which takes place from 24 September through 5 November 2020, is based upon the LIBER Open Science Roadmap, and will help guide research libraries in envisioning the support infrastructure for Open Science (OS) and their role at local, national, and global levels.

OCLC and LIBER had initially planned a collaborative in-person workshop to take place at the OCLC Library Futures Conference (EMEARC 2020) on March 3 in Vienna. But with COVID rapidly advancing globally at that time, the event was cancelled, and we took some time to plan a larger series of webinars and discussions. 

There are a couple of key goals for our collaboration. First of all, our organizations want to jointly offer a forum for discussion and exploration, and to collectively stimulate the exchange of ideas. But secondly, we want this activity to also inform us as we seek to identify research questions that OCLC and LIBER can collaboratively address to advance Open Science. 

The LIBER Open Science Roadmap provides an excellent, well. . . roadmap. . . for this effort. The report calls upon libraries to “advocate for Open Science locally and internationally, to support Open Science through tools and services and to expand the impact of their work through collaboration and partnerships.” …”

Symptom Data Challenge

“Can you develop a novel analytic approach that uses the CMU/UMD COVID-19 Symptom Survey data to enable earlier detection and improved situational awareness of the outbreak by public health authorities and the general public? …

Semi-finalists and finalists are eligible for cash prizes, and finalists will join discussions with partners on how to improve and deploy their submissions….”